Elladee Brown and Leslie Kehmeier present, Bikepacking and Boat Living – A Tale of Traveling By Land and Sea follows their unique mountain bike adventure throughout Croatia. During their three-week long odyssey, they lived at both ends of the travel spectrum. While bike-packing self-supported along the Adriatic Crest Route they had to embrace the unexpected, forcing them to live in the moment.
We recently spoke with both Elladee and Leslie to hear more about their captivating two-wheeled adventures. Check out the interview below!
Join us Nov 16, 7:30PM at Centennial Theatre for our 2019 Fall Series Mountain Bike Show, featuring stories of adventures around the globe, told by speakers Elladee Brown & Leslie Kehmeier PLUS four themed screenings.
You did a great bike-packing trip this past May in Croatia – where did it start and finish, how long was it, and what were the highlights?
Leslie: We rode the Adriatic Crest Route in Croatia. We started 186 kilometers into the route, in the town of Šmrika and finished 10 days later in Trogir. The entire route is 612 kilometers and we traveled 462 kilometers. There were definitely a few highlights, including experiencing the remote zones in the mountains where few people venture to. On night two, we camped in a beautiful meadow overlooking the islands of the Adriatic Sea. On night three we stumbled across a mountain hut in the middle of a forest. As luck would have it, a few members of the local hiking club invited us to stay. We ended up drinking, eating and laughing together well into the night.
You rode through some of the most beautiful mountain ranges of Croatia, including the Velebit Adriatic shore mountains. What was most challenging about the land part of your trip?
Elladee: Finding water and food was challenging – because we rode in May, and away from tourist zones, it was scarce and more difficult to find. We also ended up with extra heavy back packs because of how much water we had to carry once we found it – that put a lot of pressure on the saddle sitting and our seats became ‘weapons of ass destruction’ – ha ha. But really… these are amazing problems to have in the grand scheme of things.
What advice would you give to anybody who would like to do it?
Elladee: Don’t hesitate if you have the opportunity – there are great resources online. Probably the best thing you can do is to ride your bike locally with all of the gear you plan to bring. It will give you a chance, pre-trip, to make changes before you actually get there. And feel free to reach out to Leslie and/or I personally – we’re always happy to share ideas with other adventurers. We’re constantly researching and learning ourselves, and there’s no better way than sharing real life information.
Croatia is known for its really beautiful coast and 1244 islands. How many of these islands have you visited during the second part of your trip and what were the highlights?
Leslie: During the second part of the trip, we traveled by boat with Big Mountain Bike Adventures to six islands in seven days. We explored trails on Šolta, Brač, Vis, Korčula, Hvar, and Čiovo. Aside from having not having to carry everything with me every day (as opposed to bike-packing), the highlights from the second part of the trip included visiting some of the oldest cities and towns in Europe and riding trails with endless ocean views.
Thank you Elladee and Leslie for sharing! To follow more of Elladee and Leslie’s adventures, check out their Instagram pages @elladee17 and @thewideeyedworld
Photo credits: @elissacummings and @bengirardi